Beatriz Cortez

Art making along the Mahicannituck

Join us to honor the passing of Ilopango, the Volcano that Left and celebrate creative place-making along the Mahicannituck (Hudson River)! This community gathering is for all people who love the Sanctuary, who love art and creative placemaking, and who love the Hudson River! This celebration marks the moment that the monumental sculpture Ilopango, the Volcano that Left by Beatriz Cortez, onboard the John J. Harvey fireboat, passes through Troy’s Federal Lock and Dam along the Mahicannituck at the Northern tip of the Hudson River Estuary, just a block away from the Sanctuary’s campus.

As part of our year long Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail project, we honor Beatriz Cortez’s Ilopango, the Volcano that Left, speak with the curators about Cortez’s project and Shifting Center Exhibition at EMPAC, and walk together on the Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail to celebrate creative placemaking on the Hudson in Troy!

More about the Celebration activities

We met at The Sanctuary by 3PM Sunday for informal introductions the curators, live broadcast from the boat, conversation and light refreshments from the Mediterranean Grill.

We watched the live broadcast as  Ilopango, the Volcano that Left onboard the John J. Harvey fireboat journeys to Lock 2 at the Waterford Pier, then walked together by land to the bank of the Hudson River near the Federal Lock and Dam (at the West end of Glen St. outside the Federal Lock Gate, and at the West end of 101st St. ) to view the sculpture’s arrival. Curators and community then made a short drive to the Waterford Harbor Visitor Center to welcome Beatriz Cortez and the filmmakers personally!

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A composite image showing the bank of a body of water with rocls in the foreground and water disappearing into the horizon. Hovering over the water is a mountain like structure  with a sceleton of the shape

About Beatriz Cortez

Beatriz Cortez (b. 1970, San Salvador, El Salvador; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts and a Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies from Arizona State University. Cortez’s work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of migration, and in relation to imagining possible futures.

About Ilopango, the Volcano that Left

Join in dialogue with curators Vic Brooks, Nida Ghouse and Eric Booker, as well as Kathryn TeBordo, Catherine Abbott and Katherine Adams from EMPAC, to learn about Ilopango, the Volacno that Left and the Shifting Center Exhibition.

What does it mean to recognize that sculptures, like continents and mountains, are on the move? Beatriz Cortez’s sculpture Ilopango, the Volcano that Left departs Storm King Art Center, the site of its current exhibition, to embark on a three-day performative journey along the Hudson River to EMPAC–Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Aboard the John J. Harvey fireboat, the steel volcano travels north up the tidal estuary via Kingston to Troy to be installed in a concert hall for its second site of exhibition, leaving behind a sculptural footprint in its wake: an absence amidst other artworks on Museum Hill.

The volcano can be witnessed as it sails upriver from various viewing points on both shores and online through a livestream. The public is also invited to visit when it docks for the night at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston and to gather in welcoming the volcano when it passes through the Federal Lock and Dam near The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy. A month prior to the journey, for the Parsons Fine Art Visiting Artists Lecture co-organized by the Vera List Center at the New School, Cortez will chart the conceptual content borne by notions of movement and impermanence. 

In making this passage from a sculpture park to a performing arts center, Ilopango, the Volcano that Left proposes a line of questioning: What does it mean to consider sculpture as time-based? And can it become a performance? In (re)enacting a refusal to remain an object transfixed in a landscape, it exposes the fact that sculptures always already carry time, and are the ultimate records of their own making. When we encounter a sculpture as an artwork in an exhibition space, how might we apprehend the histories, geographies, and processes that are latent within it?

Its journey to EMPAC was be broadcast live by the presenting partners October 27 & 29. Filmmaker Guillermo Escalón and composer Igor de Gandarias will join the sculpture on its journey, recording the volcano’s passage for a forthcoming film (2024).

More about the Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail

The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail is dedicated to celebrating the sacred Mohican soils we are honored to tend. We are beneficiaries of millennia of human history unfolding in a majestic river valley, where the land has been nurtured by Indigenous hands and traumatized through industrial development and systemic inequity.

The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail embeds art, culture, history, and ecology into an urban nature walk on 6th Avenue in North Troy, weaving a journey from Glen Avenue to 101st Street and Freedom Square on settler lands, just a block away from the Mahicannituck.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe are in partnership on this project, which features Stockbridge-Munsee as well as other Indigenous artists and musicians, historians and storytellers, eco-artists, and muralists, connecting Indigenous wisdom to visions for a future of healing and reparations.

Visitors will engage with stories of environmental justice, ecological restoration, and the living legacy of Indigenous presence on these lands through sculptures, gardens, multimedia, murals, and live events and workshops. Take a look at our Upcoming Events page to learn about upcoming events, workshops, and talks featuring the Eco-Art Trail.

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About The Sanctuary

We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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